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“A busy must do” 3 of 5 stars
Review of ChiChi Market

ChiChi Market
btw 7a & 8a Calle, Chichicastenango, Guatemala
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Book ahead on Viator
Private Tour
$100*
and up
Private Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake...
Certificate of Excellence
Activities: Shopping
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Attraction details
Owner description: Thursdays and Sundays, this mountain village is transformed into the world's largest handicrafts market, where you'll find pottery, colorful textiles, carved wooden masks, flowers, incense and other Mayan goods for sale.
Otterton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A busy must do”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

Stopped at ChiChi on our way from LAke Atitlan to Guate, was a must see and do but things have changed a lot in the last years. The market is now surrounded by new building developments and the lovely red roofs mentioned in older forums/travel books cannot be seen. Still - we felt the old 'magic' just sitting on the church steps and watching the world go by - crafts and textiles are much more expenisve than at other places/markets, people are very pushy - so just take it all in from the side and buy elsewhere. Walk to the far end towards the colourful cemetary and watch the old men selling natural remedies - you might find fox bladder if you have a hernia or a tree root for hair growth...!!

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Coquitlam, Canada
Level Contributor
127 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Over-rated”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

Not sure why this place gets so much attention. It is an over- crowded mass of locals and tourists that take over several blocks of narrow mazes of make-shift/permanent stalls. The various crafts & textiles sold here can be found elsewhere in Guatemala for comparable prices. Don't worry if this stop doesn't fit into your itinerary as you haven't missed much.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“vibrant market”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Be sure to go to this market on one of the "big" days, Sunday and Thursday (I believe). We went on a Sunday and enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the busy market. There are sections of the market that most tourists won't be interested in, meats/vegetables. If you've never been to a foreign market before, be prepared to see meat laying out in the sun and the odor that comes along with that.
The market is right beside Santo Tomas. Visitors are asked to enter the church from a side entrance rather than walking up the main stairs. Additionally, they request no photos inside the church.
Be sure to allow your self time to visit this beautiful church and go to the cemetery on the other side of the market. If you're lucky, you'll be able to witness a Mayan ritual/sacrifice in the cemetery.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Go instead to Antigua's market especially Friday”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Very pushy market full of tourists I assume looking for the 'real' Guatemalan experience. Excellent instead is Antigua's market (we visited Friday) which is remarkably huge and where people were friendly but not aggressive - there is also has a great fruit and vegetable section. p.s. Worthwhile while at Chichi to put your head in the door and see the Santo Tomas hotel (beautiful courtyard) where it appears they also do an impressive Sunday brunch.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
96 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Explosion of colors Chichi style”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We visited Chichicastenango on a market day(of course). Our main goal was to see the Santo Tomas Church, Pascual Abaj, Cementary,. The rest of the time was for walking around the market. Thanks to Sebastian, our fantastic INGUAT guide, we learned a lot about those places, local people, their traditions, and their way of life.
After 1st part of the visit to Chichi we returned to the market and stayed there until it was time to go back to Pana. The market was big and packed with people. Be careful, watch your belongings. If possible try to keep your money, and anything you don’t want to have stolen at a chest level. Pickpockets are less likely to get your stuff from there. Taller people tower above the sea of locals; you can see the street all the way down, and what a busy place it is!! Stands with anything and everything; you name it, it’s there. I really liked the frenzy of colors. I don't think you can see so many fabrics, beautiful patters and color combinations in one place. For that reason alone it is worth to visit Chichi market! We were only “window shopping” because everything is grossly overpriced to start with, and quality of the products is rather poor (at least where the tourists go). We bought our things in Santa Catarina Palopo for much, much cheaper and the quality of their products was way better. Don’t miss the produce market with heaps of veggies and fruit all around. What a treat!! Expect to be approached by people asking for money all the time. The moment you stop, you will be surrounded by them.
Overall I enjoyed trip to Chichi, but I am very happy we did other things. I suspect that if we wanted to stay at the market alone, we would end up tired and disappointed. Shuttle to Chichi can be arranged through any hotel or agency, or you can take a chicken bus. We wanted to stay longer (past 2 pm when everyone leaves) and take a bus back to Pana but our guide advised not to do it stating that public transportation later in the afternoon is not reliable. I wish we were there earlier or simply arrived the night before. I bet watching people setting up their stands, and then packing everything up would be very entertaining.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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